FLOP PAIR WILL RE­BOUND

Chong Wei con­fi­dent V Shem-Wee Kiong can re­gain form de­spite poor Sudirman Cup show

New Straits Times - - Sport - FABIAN PETER fabian.mark@nst.com.my

LEE Chong Wei be­lieves Malaysia’s men’s dou­bles Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong will bounce back stronger af­ter a poor out­ing at the Sudirman Cup in Gold Coast, Aus­tralia.

On Fri­day, Malaysia were sent packing in the quar­ter-fi­nals of the bi­en­nial mixed team event, af­ter go­ing down 3-1 to Ja­pan. It was their sec­ond de­feat in quick suc­ces­sion, hav­ing lost 3-2 to their Asian coun­ter­parts on Wed­nes­day in the fi­nal Group 1C tie.

Go­ing into the last eight, Malaysia knew that points had to be won in the men’s sin­gles, men’s dou­bles and mixed dou­bles.

While for­mer World No 1 Chong Wei lived up to his billing and won all his matches, V shem-Wee Kiong fell short in both of theirs.

On Wed­nes­day, the 2016 Rio Olympic Games sil­ver medal­lists lost 18-21, 21-17, 21-16 to World No 5 Takeshi Ka­mu­raKeigo Son­oda, and on Fri­day 21-17, 16-21, 21-11.

Team cap­tain Chong Wei, when con­tacted said: “Both V Shem-Wee Kiong are feel­ing ter­ri­ble, I know be­cause ev­ery­one had ex­pected them to de­liver us the cru­cial point.

“How­ever, we can­not blame them alone. We must ac­cept the fact that Ja­pan were stronger on the day.

“As team cap­tain, I must say that ev­ery­one tried their best. Un­for­tu­nately, it wasn’t enough.”

Chong Wei added that men’s dou­bles coach Jeremy Gan is al­ready look­ing on how to im­prove V Shem-Wee Kiong’s part­ner­ship ahead of fu­ture tour­na­ments, in­clud­ing the World Cham­pi­onships in Glas­gow, Scot­land in Au­gust.

“We know that V Shem-Wee Kiong have not been play­ing well re­cently, but it’s not the end. I am sure the play­ers, to­gether with Jeremy, will come up with some­thing to re­turn stronger.”

Malaysia have never won the Sudirman Cup since the com­pe­ti­tion’s in­cep­tion in 1989. Their best achieve­ment was reach­ing the semi-fi­nals at the 2009 edi­tion in Guangzhou, China.

Mean­while, in yes­ter­day’s semi-fi­nals, South Korea eased past Thai­land with a 3-1 win and will play China, who saw off Ja­pan 3-2, in the fi­nal to­day.

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